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iPad Game Review: Worms 4 for iOS Review
      #48842 - 11/19/15 09:55 PM

Worms. To those unfamiliar with the franchise, it doesn't look like much. A turn-based strategy game with cartoonish 2-D graphics, absurd weapons, and worms for protagonists; to be honest, I ignored these games for a very long time. And then, I got my first iPad. As it turns out, Worms is a surprisingly deep artillery game with tons of weapons, deformable terrain, and deaths so comical you won't even mind losing a team member to see it happen. On iOS, we are on our 4th iteration, and while still filled with wormy goodness, for the first time, it's not a definitive upgrade over its predecessor.

First the good; The Worms 4 single-player experience is fantastic. Clocking in at around 80 missions spanning five worlds, the campaign alone is worth the price of admission. These missions feature fantastic variety thanks to different game modes. There's Death Match, Crate Collect, Body Count, and of course a traditional Worms match. Each of these missions is much more bite-sized than previous versions, making them much more mobile-friendly. Also, in the plus column are the graphics, which are a definite improvement over the previous version, and the ability to unlock cosmetic improvements for your team as you play will have you opening every crate you can find. I didn't even find the freemium elements to be intrusive. Yes, there is an opportunity to spend additional money in the game, but you will get the full Worms experience without spending an extra dime.

Now, the not so good; Fans of the asynchronous multiplayer feature found in previous versions will now find only a gleaming Facebook logo in the crater created by that feature's departure. In Worms 4, the only way to play with friends is via pass-and-play (same device) or through Facebook. Further, you will be repeatedly nagged to log into Facebook whenever you play with no way to disable the reminders. For the billion or so people out there who enjoy Facebook, this won't be a problem. However, those of us who don't use it will find themselves reinstalling Worms 3. For the record, my non-participation in social media has nothing to do with paranoia, introversion, or a lack of technical expertise; It's just not recommended for my line of work, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. Also, in spite of the ubiquity of Facebook, gamers will likely find it more difficult to find opponents than in previous versions because both players must be online at the same time in order to play. Also in the negative column are the controls. While I can appreciate that Team 17 is continually trying to make Worms work well with a touchscreen, I can safely say that they need to keep working. They're functional, but still not great.

Worms 4 is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the single-player experience is excellent, and the whole experience seems to have been finely tuned for mobile gamers. On the other hand, there's no way to spin the loss of a beloved feature like asynchronous multiplayer as a positive. It's a step back, and a big one unless you own stock in Facebook.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Beautiful graphics that really enhance gameplay
Sound: - 5 - The voiceovers and sound effects are as comically excellent as ever.
Controls: - 3.5 - You may like the new controls, you may prefer the old. They are not perfect.
Gameplay: - 5/3 - The single-player experience is fantastic, but the multiplayer experience will either leave you happy or irritated depending on your inclination toward Facebook.

Playing Hints and Tips:

Spend some time with the campaign before trying multiplayer. Although it may not look it, this is a deeply strategic game, and one that requires excellent gaming skills as well. Use the terrain to your advantage. Watch the wind. Move to cover after shooting (need to be quick!).

App Facts:

Developer: Team17
Release Date: September 2, 2015
Price: $4.99
Buy App: Worms 4

Reviewed by Tom Slayton


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